Judge Judy's perspective on quitting.

Unknown"It sounds like you've got a lot of judgment", my coach reflected to me.  This time, I didn't even need to react to her statement.  I just emphatically agreed with her: "Oh, I've got tons of judgment.  I even judge my wife when she's judging people". For me, judgment is an automatic.  I walk through the world filled with judgment.  I don't want to be that way, it's just what I've learned.  It's not the core of who I am, it's just something I've developed that has assisted me in getting through life.

It's allowed me to avoid being taken advantage of, and to avoid being made fun of or hurt by people (it's almost impossible to hurt someone when they've already judged you worthless or irrelevant.  Anything negative or hurtful you say will just fall into an affirmation of their judgment).

This month, we took on naming that part of me that shows up.  She's called Judge Judy.

She's a bitch.

But she's there.  She's there to protect me when I'm up against something that I deem unsafe.  I've taken on noticing when she's holding court in my head, banging her gavel, speaking over top of the person in front of me, and telling them "You're an idiot!".

The trouble with Judge Judy is that, while she protects me from people that would seek to do me harm or take advantage of me, she also cuts out a lot of opportunity.  Things like connection are really damn hard when Judge Judy is banging her gavel against the side of my head and hypocritically decrying my wife's position. Bay's got her own judgments for her own reasons, and they're simply their to protect her when she's scared.  Judge Judy doesn't care.  She just wants to judge.  Deep, deep inside, underneath all of that mess, I know that Bay is just frightened, and just wants to be understood.  Judge Judy is the part of me that sabotages that connection, intimacy, and understanding.

Judge Judy also hates quitters.  They're a waste of time.

If you started something, you should finish it.  Why are you considering quitting it?  Why did you start it in the first place?

"Why should I give you my time when you're not even willing to stand for yourself?", demands Judge Judy.

Upon entry into law school, I remember hearing people tell me that not all of our colleagues would be graduating with us.  We were told that people were going to drop-out, and not to make anything significant of it - it's just the way it was.  This was shocking to me.  Quitting had never been something I did once I decided to take on something.  If I started something new, I stuck it through.  Why would you quit?

The same was true, though even more so, once I started training as an ontological coach.  Sure, the work was deeply uncomfortable, and oftentimes felt like running headfirst into a brick wall; but that's why we were there.  That's why I'd signed up - to do the uncomfortable work, and to empower my clients to do the same.  Why were people quitting?

I couldn't understand it, and Judge Judy didn't give a damn.

In the army and other rigorous militaristic training programs, you want a drill sergeant; but not in your life.  You want to be understood.  You want someone that is on your side, shoulder to shoulder with you, rather than standing across the net from you.

[Tweet "In the army you want a drill sergeant; but not in your life."]

Judge Judy cuts off my ability to relate to people that are stuck in that stage where they want to quit.  Ironically, this is usually right before someone experiences the breakthrough they've come for.  So Judge Judy will let them get to the door, but then try to whip them into it, without realizing that the door is currently shut and they need to open it themselves before they can walk through.

So now?  Now it's time to start owning Judge Judy.  Let her out of the bag, and own when she shows up.  Acknowledge her presence, recognize what she's there to tell me, and then get back in touch with the person in front of me.

What part of you inhibits connection with people in your life?  If that part of you is there to provide you with something, what is it?  If you were to simply let go of that part of you in the moment, what would be possible?

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